Today is the ninth day of Av, the month of the Jewish calendar that falls between July and August, which in Hebrew is known as Tisha B’Av and is one of many holidays dedicated to commemorating the historical misfortunes that befell the various peoples who live on the land between the river and the sea.
Tel Aviv, Israel – 12th of February, 2014: A youth movement shirt and army sweatpants serve as nightclothes for guests sleeping over at Avichai’s flat. Past membership in Zionist youth movements and in the country’s armed forces are both extremely common among Israelis, leaving many traces such as identification clothes from one’s army unit, training sportswear and more or less funny shirts commemorating events or anniversaries.
Jerusalem, Israel – 30th of January, 2014: Israeli religious Zionist activists, rabbis and politicians held a mass prayer at the Kotel “for the redemption of the people of Israel” and calling for the failure of US secretary of state John Kerry’s efforts to convince the Israeli leadership to accept his peace plan, which would establish the Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and divide the city.
Eish Kodesh, Judea and Samaria – 17th of January, 2014: Israelis gathered in Eish Kodesh, a small outpost on the hills between Jerusalem and Nablus, to plant trees for the holiday of Tu Bishvat, the Jewish “New Year of the Trees”.
A few hundreds meters from the southern shores of the Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) lies Degania Aleph, the first kibbutz. Founded in 1910 by ten men and two women, Degania was the original model for the communal agricultural settlements which established the first facts on the ground of the Zionist project. Today, Degania is home to 300 members, 150 children and 100 residents, living and working in one of Israel’s oldest and most prestigious communities.